April 1, 2023
James Madison University
US/Eastern timezone
See you all at the Fall 2023 Meeting on Oct. 21 @ UMD/Zoom !

Demonstration of Schlieren Imaging

Apr 1, 2023, 1:30 PM
King Hall 0243 (James Madison University)

King Hall 0243

James Madison University

701 Carrier Dr. Harrisonburg, VA 22807
demo (15-minute) Afternoon Session 1B


William A. Tobias (University of Virginia)


The schlieren and shadowgraph techniques allow one to observe otherwise invisible phenomena in transparent gas, liquid or solid materials. These optical methods are very sensitive to changes in the refractive index of the media under observation. For example, the variations in air density in the convection plume of a candle's flame results in an impressive display of laminar and turbulent fluid flow. Thermal gradients can also be seen coming off a person's hand. The schlieren and shadowgraph techniques will be explained and demonstrated using a single mirror optics setup.

Primary author

William A. Tobias (University of Virginia)

Presentation materials